Reflections: March 31, 2021
Wednesday of Holy Week
By Aaron T. Fenker
They all said, "Are You the Son of God?" So He said to them, "You yourselves are saying I AM." Then they said, "Why do we still need witnesses? For we all heard it from His mouth." (Luke 22:70–71)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why was Jesus sentenced to death? What actually was the tipping point in the trial? It was all a puppet court anyway. It was convened in the middle of the night. Jesus was arrested by a mob and brought into this very calculated, evil plot hatched and implemented by the religious leaders. They even had a whole slew of false witnesses. That didn't work, though. No matter how many charges they could trump up, they didn't stick. All they could do was "mock Him and beat Him." All they could do was blindfold and slap Him, and ask, ""Prophesy! Who's the one who hit You?" (Luke 22:63-64)
What else could they do? They needed something true to condemn Him for. So they asked Him, "Are you the Son of God?" (Luke 22:70) He said, "I AM." Jesus is condemned for being who He is. He's condemned for being the eternal Son of the Father. Sinners condemned and killed God for being God.
But His being God also means He's our Sin-Bearer. He's the One who bore our sin and the punishment of the Law in His own body. There He was the greatest sinner, the curse, sin itself. That's Jesus. And so He's condemned for that, too. The religious court condemned Him for being God. The heavenly court, God His own Father, condemned Him for being sin and curse (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13). So He cried out from His Cross, "My God, My God why have you forsaken me!"
Jesus' being God means His death counts for you. Jesus' being condemned means you won't be condemned. This death for sin that Jesus underwent is yours and FOR YOU. You've received it in your Baptism. You eat and drink of it in His Body and Blood given and shed for you. You hear the "not guilty" verdict spoken by your pastor in the Absolution. Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father which means He's the Sin-Bearer--our Sin-Bearer. He's guilty. Now, you're not. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Ye who think of sin but lightly Nor suppose the evil great Here may view its nature rightly, Here its guilt may estimate. Mark the sacrifice appointed, See who bears the awful load; 'Tis the Word, the Lord's anointed, Son of Man and Son of God. ("Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted" LSB 451, st.3)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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